BAM eBay Buyer Blog

Posts for eBay buyers about buying on eBay

Is It Safe To Buy From eBay?

I have often been asked: is it safe to buy on eBay? My answer is always Yes! providing you take a few easy precautions.

Check the Feedback

When you are looking for an item on eBay, the first thing you always want to check is the feedback. If the feedback is lousy, and that means in the 80 percentile range, consider avoiding that seller no matter how much you want to get that item. This becomes doubly true if you read the feedback and many people have written about the items quality, poor shipping and even payment issues. Stay away from these sellers at all cost.

Making Payments

A lot of people get tripped up when making a payment on eBay. The best way to do that is with an electronic payment service like PayPal. There is no muss, no fuss, you simple transfer the payment directly from an electronic payment service directly to the auction seller. These transactions are recorded, and they will give you powerful evidence if the item is not received or the person says that you've never sent a payment.

Checks and Money Orders

Sending a certified check or a money order is not as good. Although they can be tracked to the person who cashed them, it will take time. The worst part is that someone can intercept your check from the mail, change a few things about it, and cash it for themselves. Does this happen often? No, but it does happen, and it can lead you into weeks or months of problems when you are trying to prove where it went, and to whom.

The worst thing to do is to send cash for an item that has been won. Cash is untraceable, and even if the seller gets the cash, they can say they didn't, and no one will know otherwise.

The Honesty Of eBay

In most cases, asking yourself, is it safe to buy from eBay is a no-brainer. eBay, as a whole, is very honestly run and people who sell there want you to have no trouble bidding and winning. They want the transaction to go smoothly and as effortlessly as possible. Just remember that you will always maximize your safety by using an electronic payment service and by always dealing with reputable people. Just by doing those two things, it will be safe to buy on eBay nearly 100% of the time. And buying right with safety in mind is another reason why BAM's got your back!

Go eBay and Go Local

Local pick-up deals

In most cases, people are happy to box up and ship the item you won. Usually that's no problem, but for bigger ticket items, many people list them for local pick-up. And when listed like that, you can get some fabulous deals with low winning bids.

The reason is that, in most cases, only a few people within driving distance will bid on an item that advertises local pick-up only. That makes sense because no matter how beautiful or gorgeous or even though an item that is listed at a low price, people are not going to want to drive more than a hundred miles or so, and you can't hardly blame them. However, that cuts down on the available people that will place a bid, and the less people that bid, the greater the potential that leaves for an absolute steal.

Drive and save

But distance works in both ways. If you are willing to drive that extra few miles or so, you can save a bundle on both the final bid price and the cost of shipping. Granted, this won't work out very well if you are using a gas guzzling truck or a large passenger car. But if you can get your winning purchase into your back seat, and if you get some decent miles per gallon with your vehicle, you could easily get a great bargain as well as save on the cost of shipping.

To search for items local to you, choose "More refinements" in the left navigation on eBay search page, "Item Location" tab, check Within certain distance from your zip code and press Go:

Double up and save even more

Of course if you can double up on a trip, that's even better. Take a ride out to Grandmas or take in the State Fair, and while you're at it, take a little detour and pick up the item that you've won. This way you can do two things at once, save money in the process, and make Grandma happy!

So go local when you go eBay, because sometimes the best deals are right in your own neck of the woods. And remember, BAM's got your back, no matter what you bid on and win at eBay!

Light Up Your Life With Lamps From eBay

Lamps can accent your house

Some of the most beautiful settings in a home, like a sun room, a bedroom or even a recreation room, are accented by choosing the right lamp. Swag lamps can be hung in a corner to give a retro glow, porcelain table lamps are perfect accompaniments on end tables, parlor lamps will radiate warmth in a living room or a family room, and a chandelier is the perfect lighting effect for a dining room.

Inevitably, the highest winning bid on any lamp will be for the ones that work. Plug them in, turn them on and you have light. For that, you'll pay a premium, but here is the secret to winning with a low bid.

Parts that make lamps work

Did you know that a lamp, any lamp, has only three parts that will make it work or not work? The plug, the cord and the socket. That's it. All lamps are simple circuits. The power from the wall plug flows into the cord and exits at the socket which lights up the bulb. No computers, no motors, no magic. Just basic electricity at it simplest. Now, we aren't talking florescent lighting here, we are talking the standard and common Edison sockets that will accept incandescent, florescent energy saving bulbs and the new LED bulbs.

So what are you going to do when you win a lamp that doesn't work? Well, here's the deal.

Fixing lamp plug

If the plug is bad, cut it off with a scissors and get a new light-duty plug at the hardware store. Unscrew the screw that holds the cover down, flip the cover of the new plug open, insert the cut end of the cord inside, push the cover back into place and screw it down. That's all there is and you have just changed the plug.

Fixing lamp socket

The socket is just as easy. Every socket has a “Push to Open” tab on the side. Push the tab and pull the socket apart while leaving the socket base in place. Unscrew the terminals that hold the wires on. Get a new socket exactly like the one you had from any hardware store. Screw the wires back onto the new terminals and remember that the white wire goes to the silver terminal, the black goes to the copper terminal, and any green wire goes to a green terminal. Push the new cover back onto the socket base until it “snaps” shut, and you are done.

Fixing lamp cord

The cord is the easiest yet. Unscrew the wires from the socket, as detailed above, and pull the cord from the lamp. Cut the receptacle end off of a common household extension cord and push the wires back into the lamp. Wire them up to the socket and you are good to go, since the plug is already attached.

Fix it and score killer deal on eBay

If you are willing to do this, you will find some killer deals on lamps and lighting that doesn't work. In most cases, all you will need is a screwdriver and some time, but virtually anyone can do this. Plus, you win two ways, The first is on the low price bid you'll pay, and the second is the satisfaction you'll have when you turn the switch and the light goes on after you have repaired it. It just doesn't get any better than that except knowing, as always, that BAM's got your back!

Bidding With Knowledge About Dishes (China)-Chips, Cracks and Crazing

Classification of China

set of china dishesChina is classified in several different ways when placed up for auction. A description of mint or near mint means the China will exhibit no chips or cracks, and all of the gold leaf paint, glazing or designs will be wholly or almost completely intact. If you are looking for China that is mint or near mint, expect to bid high and win it paying a premium.

Yet if you are willing to live with some cracks or chips, the bid price may plummet, depending on the maker.

Small Chips

Small chips, in innocuous places will always bring down the bidding price of the China, but they won't necessarily detract from the beauty. A chip on the bottom rim of a tea cup or a small chip on the underside of a serving platter rim will ensure that the item will not get top dollar, but no one, in real life,  may even notice it is there. That means, you'll get that cup or platter for a far less final bid, and it will still look terrific.

Cracks

A crack is a different matter altogether. If the crack is too deep, which means it will go through one side of the piece to the other, it may actually compromise the structure of the item. Deep and long cracks may actually break in two after being used only a short time. Cracks will enlarge when subjected to a repeated hot and cold wash cycle, no matter how gently you handle the piece. So realistically, unless you are willing to live with the fact that a crack may eventually cause a failure, it might be wise to pass up a bid on an item with a deep crack, no matter how inexpensive it may be.

Crazing

Crazing, on the other hand, are small spiderweb-like cracks in the glaze finish. These cracks do not go into the structure of the China and are therefore relatively harmless. Some people even value crazing because it shows the dish has personality. If you can live with crazing on China, you may score a serious bargain on any that you bid for.

What are your needs?

Ultimately, think about your needs here. Mint or near mint China is almost flawless and it is the most highly coveted and perfect choice for the most special of occasions. But for everyday use, a few chips, shallow cracks or some crazing is not all that bad. If you are willing to live with those flaws, you can still present to people the best China service out there, while not breaking the bank on your final bid price.

Knowledge about what to look for when bidding on China is the key, and as always, no matter what you bid on at eBay, BAM's got your back!

When Bidding to Win, Temper Your Emotions for the Best eBay Deals

Temper your emotions for best deals on eBay

temper your emotionsThere are going to be times when you find something you really want on eBay, where the excitement becomes so overwhelming that you'll throw caution to the wind and bid to the sky. If you were the seller of that item, you'll hope that everything you sell garners that same type of emotional excitement.

However, in almost every case where you allow your emotions to get the best of you, you'll pay more, and in some cases much more, than the item may even be worth. To get the best deal possible on eBay, make sure you keep your emotions in check.

There is always another item to bid on

Virtually every item that is listed on an eBay auction will be listed again by someone else. That means there will be other opportunities to bid on an exact same or a similar item. Get an idea about how much your item sells for by looking in the “completed” auctions tab. This will give you a baseline figure about how much that item is usually selling for.

Once you know that price, temper your emotions and set your own price that you won't over bid. For example, let's say your favorite Beanie Baby usually sells for around $20 dollars. Use that figure as the highest figure you'll bid, then add on $2.00 in case someone punches in $20.00 ahead of you. This means that the absolute maximum you'll bid for that particular Beanie Bay is $22.00. No matter what, don't bid more than this, even if you are sniping at the end. If you lose it this time, try again next time. You will eventually get it at your price, or less, if you stick to this strategy.

Avoid bidding wars

Consider the alternative. If you let your emotions run wild, you may end up in a bidding war with someone else who is doing the same thing. Yes, you could eventually win the item, but the cost might be so high that it may not be worth it. And then, like so many bidders before you after winning, you'll be asking yourself, “Why did I bid so high?”

So remember, find out how much the item sold for, set the highest price that you want to bid on that item, and don't waver from your set price no matter what. To help you keep within your limits, you can use sniping software so you don't have enough time to increase your bid. If you lose the item this time, down the line you'll find it listed again, and then there is always that chance you'll get it for far less than even you could have imagined.